Holiday gift giving can be difficult, and we here at LGBG have 11 suggestions for thoughtful holiday gift ideas that are green, sustainable, unique and sure to be appreciated by family and friends.

 Gift Ideas  If you’re reading this article now, it is safe to assume that the Christmas gift shopping category still is staring at you on your holiday to-do list.  Perhaps you are tired of the perfunctory shirts, belts, ties, food gifts, sweaters, etc.  Maybe you don’t want to venture out to the crowded malls and shopping centers, or hopefully you want to find that great gift that shows that you care about the environment and that you want to make a positive difference in the world.  You know that contributing to the collection of more “stuff” is not a good thing.  As such, here are some suggestions from LGBG.

Consider giving experiences rather than things.

Gift giving can be a very special opportunity to show recipients, whether friends or family members, that you care about them and that you took the time to get them something that they would enjoy.  Given that we are living in a society in which we generally are concerned with our collection of “stuff” and a looming fear that we are becoming hoarders, a gift of an experience becomes more attractive.

1.  Tickets.  These always are popular.  They can be to a show, play, sporting event or a trip.  If you purchase an experience that you know the recipient enjoys, this gift is guaranteed to be a hit.
2.  Spa and well being sessions.  A day at a spa with massage, healthy food and drinks, rest and rejuvenation is a gift that is sure to be remembered for a long time.  Also, it may introduce the recipient to an experience that he/she may wish to continue.
3.  Wine and gourmet food tasting.  Sure to be a hit for a couple, who may enjoy a unique dating experience.
4.  Lessons.  There are lessons available for purchase for many experiences.  Perhaps a surfing class for that friend who you know would like to try this, a zip line class for that daring friend, a golf lesson for someone who has mentioned often that they would love to play.  Just maybe you have a friend who repeatedly voiced love for the cello and the desire to learn to play.  Well, here is your way of saying.”I listen to you and want to help you achieve a dream.”

Holiday Gift

Gifts that Give Back.

Most of us have those very special friends, who consistently work to make the world a better place.  A gift that echoes their focus on charity is very thoughtful and definitely will be appreciated.

1.  Coffee gifts that change lives.  Coffee has enjoyed ever-increasing popularity.  During the holiday season, gift cards for the most well know coffee corporations can be found everywhere.  This year, we suggest trying a new approach, namely Three Avocados, a nonprofit coffee company, dedicated to finding a creative solution to ending global water shortages, beginning with Uganda.  The great thing about this company is that 100% of its net proceeds are used to provide clean water in Uganda and also education in Nicaragua.
2.  Lipstick that fights AIDS.  For the friend or love one who adores lipstick, skip the department store cosmetic department and order MAC Viva Glam lipsticks.  The mission of this company is “to serve people of all ages, all races and all sexes affected by HIV and AIDS.”
3.  Wine that gives back.  Order wine from ONEHOPEWINE, a social enterprise “that integrates causes into products and services to make a social impact.”  This group donates 50% of its profits to great causes, including the World Food Program and the Gateway for Cancer Research.
4.  Buy a boot, give a boot.  Toms footwear and accessories are very popular and makes a great gift ideas because “with every product you purchase, TOMS will help a person in need.  One for One.”[1]

 

Special interest gifts

Maybe your list includes friends with special interests who would appreciate a unique gift that acknowledges their enthusiasm for a particular activity.

1.  Online reading subscriptions.  These are perfect for people who like to read, particularly on-the-go, and who want to reduce their collections of paper copy to save space or to save a tree.  Also, programs, such as Audible, offer audiobooks that can be downloaded to most electronic devices to be enjoyed while driving, walking, etc.
2.  Personal hydrators.  The personal hydrator by HydraPouch is an innovative way for runners to maintain hydration during races and to improve performance by eliminating the need to use paper cups.
3.  Stock.  A gift of a stock certificate is a great way to introduce a young friend or family member to investing.  Purchasing stock from a company that makes a product or provides a service of interest of interest to the recipient will enhance this experience even further.

Shares - vintage share certificates of USA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Celebrate the season.

We hope that you enjoyed our holiday gift ideas and will find something on this list to give to that special someone in your life.  Of course, our goal here is to celebrate the season, celebrate life and the environment.  To do so is to live green, be green.

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1.  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/16/basic-bitch-gift-guide_n_6310274.html?icid=maing-grid7%7Cresponsive-tablet%7Cdl40%7Csec3_lnk3%26pLid%3D583476

Today is Father’s Day, and we hope that you choose a green salute for Dad.  If you have not decided on a gift yet, don’t panic.  Take a few minutes and think about a present that reflects who your Dad is or wants to be.  This opens up many possibilities.

green-happy-fathers-day-glitter

 

 

 

Read More →

flags-ukraine-eu-russia-conflict-european-union-35666814A greener Europe can Undermine an ambitious Russia.  As the world watches the situation in Ukraine unfold with trepidation, the pageantry of the Olympics seems a world and a life time away (despite only being less than five hundred miles and several weeks apart). The conflict in Ukraine is playing out as a determination of spheres of influences; the EU and the United States seek to bring Ukraine into the western sphere of influence and Russia sees Ukraine as naturally being part of their influence. As such, both the EU and Russia offered Ukraine bailout deals, with the favoring of the Russian deal being the catalyst for the revolution. As of March 2nd, the crisis developing in Ukraine has led to the G-7 members pulling out of the G-8 summit, which is to take place in Sochi, in June. [1] However, some members were originally reluctant to go so far, with Canada and the U.S. leading the charge for the summit withdrawal. As of the moment that I am writing this, the US is bluntly stating that it will be moving forward with sanctions as a near certainty, while EU countries are scheduling a meeting for Thursday to consider targeted measures against Russia. [2] Where Russian resolves seems solid, Western resolves seems to be fractures by the Atlantic. What is the cause of this divide amongst G-7 and mostly NATO members? The divide is the bridge between the two spheres of influence: money and energy; the fossil fuels that Russia supplies Europe with and the desperately needed money Russia receives. This is a bridge that Europe has been seeking to dismantle and must is they want to truly counter Russian expansion of their sphere of influence.

As it stands here are the important notes the public needs to know to move the discussion forward.

  • Gazprom, which the Russian govt. has a 50.1% majority stake in, is the largest extractor of natural gas in the world. It produces over 80% of all Russian natural gas, accounting for 8% of Russian GDP in 2011.[3]
  • On three separate occasions Gazprom has stopped delivery of gas over payment disputes, twice with Ukraine and once with Belarus.
  • The deal deposed Pres. Yanukovich agreed to with Russia slashed natural gas prices by a third. Taken into account with the previous delivery disputes it is evident that Russia is willing to use natural to buy/demand political loyalty.
  • The E.U. is the largest energy market in the world. Currently, the EU imports approximately 65% of its energy; Russia being the largest exporter to the EU, providing 22% of EU imports.[4]
  • The Russian economy is slowing down; Growth, which was 5.1% in 2011, slowed to near 1% in 2013, and with projected growth remaining below 2% till 2016 at least. [5]

Kremlin-Moscow-1024x640

As Russia seeks to project itself back into prominence, while undermining democratic governments abroad, and squelching human right at home, the E.U. must, and has the ability to,  sweep the rug out from under them. Europe must stand united against Russia in this and show them that gas and oil are not solid ground to stand upon. Being dependent on autocratic regimes for energy needs undermines the liberal democratic foundations of the E.U. (as well as the United States).

What we end up having is a side track of dependency theory. Dependency theory has many different definitions depending on who is speaking about it, but a general definition is that, “[Dependency is]…an historical condition which shapes a certain structure of the world economy such that it favors some countries to the detriment of others and limits the development possibilities of the subordinate economics…a situation in which the economy of a certain group of countries is conditioned by the development and expansion of another economy, to which their own is subjected.”[6] However, we now have to take it a step further. The theory originally dealt with explaining the continued poverty of developing countries and showing how a dependency on industrialized nations, who would condition their economies to only export raw materials, led to this continued poverty. Now we are dealing with the conditioning of foreign policies. Energy independence and dependence carry a great deal of weight, particularly when a large portion of your energy import demands are met by a state-owned monopoly. Fear over secure gas and oil supply fills many nations with trepidations over the thought of outright challenging and responding to Russian aggression, as previously evidenced by the divide between reactions by the U.S./Canada and E.U. To be able to safely counter Russia’s anti-democratic policies Europe can no longer be dependent on Russia for their energy needs. As such, Europe needs to meet its energy demand with internal energy production.

Europe cannot fall back on its own gas production, as it has steadily been in decline. While liquid natural gas is another option, it is not truly available in the near-term. Europe does not have a properly integrated energy market nor does it have substantial LNG import capacity. Developing both would be a costly measure, with a long implementation deadline.[7]Where then is Europe to look? To the skies and the fields and to the progress it has made in the last decade.

The 2009 Renewable Directive set binding targets for all E.U. member states: the EU will reach a 20% share of energy from renewable sources by 2020 and a 10% share of renewable energy specifically in the transport sector.  By 2011 the E.U. was seeing 12.4% of its energy production come from renewable sources, with certain countries greatly outpacing the 20% target. The time has never been riper for Europe to determine a proper strategy to become more energy independent.  The E.U. is already ahead of its own schedule with regards to cutting carbon emissions; the goal set in 2007 was to get carbon emissions to 20% lower than 1990 levels by 2020. As of 2011 emissions were already 17.6% lower than the levels recorded in 1990.[8] What is required for Europe to strive forward is a bold plan, led by bold leadership. However, as the financial crisis has shown, no one is willing to carry this mantle. Instead, we find a divided Europe, with Germany being the practical leader, but refusing. Therefore, the key to any continent wide green energy plan that will lead to substantial change is Germany.

800px-32nd_G8_Summit-2

Such a forum is about to take place. In late January, the European Commission presented a framework for 2030. The intention of the framework is to seize upon the success of the 2020 targets and carry that momentum forward at a greater pace. As it stands, the framework aims to cut greenhouse emissions by 40% below the 1990 level by 2030 and to increase the share of renewable energy in EU consumption to 27%.[9] However, this framework was written in the shadow of a standing down in tensions in Ukraine. The situation in Ukraine and the virtual Russian annexation of Crimea have changed the relationship between Europe and Russia. How is Europe, particularly Germany, to respond in a proper manner when, “Russia is a major supplier of oil to Germany and the Netherlands in particular ‘and of natural gas to Western Europe generally’”?[10] The framework will be up for further debate at the spring meeting of the European Council. The differences in the situation from January to March are stark. The upcoming debate, which will likely not mean legislative action till 2015, is shadowed by the debate regarding green energy subsidies taking place in Germany; the ruling coalition is seeking to curve green energy subsidies.[11] However, Europe’s recent history should give the ruling coalition pause. As the Great Recession showed, regardless of where blame may actually lie, the health of the economy can slay even the most resolute government. As such, economic growth and security has taken precedence in many ways. This is not to say foreign policy has taken a backseat, as it is hard to dislodge from the forefront in a globalized world. The question Europe needs to be asking itself is: is it wise to have your economic footing being shored up by a country that is deliberately and consistently trying to undermine your liberal-democratic values in its own country and on your doorstep? How long will they allow you to stand in defiance, before they pull the rug to get you to bend a knee?



[1] http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/03/02/g-7-leaders-statement

[2] http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-ukraine-russia-c risis-20140303,0,4752010.story

[3] “Gazprom in figures 2004-2008”. Gazprom. 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-02.

[4] http://www.pecob.eu/do-europe-and-russia-depend-on-each-other-for-gas-and-money-respectively

[5] http://www.bbc.com/news/business-26418664

[6] https://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/depend.htm

[7] https://csis.org/publication/russia-eu-gas-relationship-partnership-necessity

[8] http://library.fes.de/pdfp. -files/id/ipa/10060.pdf

[9] http://ec.europa.eu/clima/policies/2030/index_en.htm

[10] http://www.cbsnews.com/news/does-russian-oil-trump-possible-european-sanctions/

[11] http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304632204579336220103661350

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English: Fall in Napa Valley

English: Fall in Napa Valley (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This Sunday, September 22nd, is the autumn equinox, signaling the official start of fall, and we here at LGBG would like to mark this occasion by discussing ways to put green in your fall season.  While many of us lament the passing of spring and summer with warmer temperatures and opportunities for longer days with outdoor activities and parties, as well as easier access to local fresh fruits and vegetables, we must not forget that the autumn or harvest season is a wonderful time for the same, often in greater abundance.  We do acknowledge that with vacation time over and children back in school, we often have to work a little harder to live green, but the opportunities to do so are present in the fall.

Perhaps the first and most important step to have a green autumn is to view the new season as a time for change and welcome the chance to embrace this period.  Here is a list of good and green things about autumn that we hope will interest you.

  • The fall is a great time for outdoor activities.  With cooler temperatures, walking, running, jogging and biking activities are more enjoyable.  Youth football, soccer and field hockey seasons are in full swing, and the children get to hone their skills while getting good exercise.  This is a great chance to get in the game– kicking or throwing the ball around with your children is good for the whole family in terms of exercise and time spent together.  Also, while children are attending practices, this is a perfect time to go for a walk or run.
  • Football also is a huge fall attraction.  Hosting a college or NFL football party or celebrating a child’s team with a focus on healthy green fare or simply having a family party where each family member prepares a green dish can be a lot of fun.  As a bonus, take your game outside and throw the football during halftime.
  • Autumn is an opportune time to enjoy many delicious foods and to experiment with recipes.  This is the time of color, and that color transcends to fruits and vegetables, whose nutritional benefits are well documented.  Scientific evidence shows that pigmented fruits and vegetables are rich in phytonutrients — compounds that fight off free radicals that cause cancer and that can increase the risk of heart disease and other enemies to the body that cause diabetes, osteoporosis and more.  Of particular note is the fall apple harvests and fall festivals celebrating the apple with enjoyable offerings.
  • The autumn season provides each of us an opportunity to realign with nature.  While we often scramble around enjoying the warmer months, now is the time to slow down, use the cooler evenings as a time to rest, relax, read, meditate and spend time on yourself.  Take the time to enjoy the changing leaves.  Hiking with family and walking pets can be very relaxing.

Autumn is a very special and beautiful season, dramatically ushered in by that big harvest moon.  To embrace this time with its bounty in nutritious food and opportunities for great family fun, as well as the chance for self introspection and renewal, is to live green be green.

Heavens Garden

Sources:

1.  http://www.care2.com/greenliving/seven-food-colors-of-health.html.
2.  http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-6480/5-Tips-to-Stay-Healthy-in-Autumn.html.


  
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Credit: www.thatsfit.com

Being that it is a requirement of living, it is likely that you have seen a grocery store in your lifetime. (If not, congrats to you for this incredible feat in modern society).  Among the common items of bread, eggs, and cheese that you would normally find in the grocery store is the now ubiquitous Greek Yogurt section. Popular for being rich in protein, and its smooth texture, Greek yogurt has taken off as an industry within the past five years. In fact, “…Yogurt production in New York…has tripled between 2007 and 2013.”[1] What yogurt companies and John Stamos have not told you however are the consequences the production of their products have had on the environment.

Unlike traditional yogurt, the Greek variety, “…Yields huge quantities of acid whey, a byproduct that kills aquatic life during decomposition.” In the production cycle, acid whey (which is common component in the making of inexpensive butters and creams) is one of the byproducts that separates from milk after it has been curdled.[2] Yet, because of the aforementioned boom in production, yogurt companies are left with a tremendous amount of waste that cumulatively can greatly impact our oceans, rivers, and streams. Acid whey naturally takes away oxygen from water which has the effect of progressively killing any aquatic life in the area. For example, after an Ohio cheese factory accidentally spilled acid whey into nearby Sandy Creek, close to 5,400 fish were killing along the 1.5 mile river.[3] These figures are pretty extraordinary, but can only provide a glimpse into the potential environmental ramifications if a larger scaled spill were to happen.

Currently, for every three or four ounces of milk, Chobani and other companies can produce only one ounce of creamy Greek yogurt. The rest becomes acid whey.”[4] So what can we do to reverse this trend? According to The Verge and The Modern Farmer several sustainable options are currently being explored. The most promising idea in use is located at a farm in Scipio Center, N.Y where they have successfully turned acid whey into methane, which then is converted into usable electricity. In a simplified and less disgusting version of the process, acid whey and manure are combined in tanks with heat for approximately 20 days. Here the cultures in acid whey break down the contents of the mixture which, in this case, releases methane embedded within the manure where the gas is used as a raw material for electrical generators which power the farm.

Yet, the anaerobic digesters which are required tools for the New York farm require millions in capital investment and are not likely to be available to the local farmer. As a result, we need to cultivate more practical ideas to meet this growing challenge which faces our environment and aquatic life. Here at LGBG we want to empower you with this information to go out and make a difference. Together lets collaborate and inspire to create a solution so that we can all live green, and be green.

With the Oscar’s upon us, our minds as a nation tend to drift towards the extravagance as a result of watching global icons in Hollywood’s biggest party of the year. Opulence and decadence are the most appropriate adjectives to describe the evening and more specifically the gowns and tuxedos worn to the event. It is fairly common for dresses to cost tens of thousands of dollars as designers use the star-studded event to promote their fashion lines and brands on the most expensive mannequins money can buy.[1] Despite the lavishness however, many of these actors and actresses are heavily involved with charities and humanitarian efforts. Their global statuses help to raise tremendous amounts of money for causes they deem valuable, or even crucial for society to survive moving forward. Leonardo DiCaprio for example has consistently sought to bring about awareness of environmental issues through his Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation (LDF). DiCaprio’s latest project is called LYON, which is an organic and fair trade coffee company, whose proceeds support LDF’s other sustainable ventures which include, but are not limited to, “…Wildlife protection, forest preservation, clean water, and climate change.”[2]

In addition, Colin Firth, who currently is working on a project to help save the Brazilian indigenous Awa tribe, who are being threatened as a result of illegal logging of the Amazon Rainforest, is among a growing population of celebrities who are involved with charities and humanitarian efforts geared around the environment and green issues.[3]

And while it is difficult to say that some charities are more valuable or important than others, the impact of green initiatives and sustainability affect us all to some degree or another. I realize that the focus of the Oscars (or any other awards show in general) is not charity i.e. the Guardian Charity Awards. Yet, a lot of good can be done by a simple celebrity plugin. Actors and actresses are already asked what and who they are “wearing” for the evening. By wearing a green inspired dress or tuxedo and mentioning that to the public is relatively harmless, and is in line with the questioning they already receive from reporters for the night. Imagine how much awareness for green clothing can be provided by even a single celebrity endorser. For example, just think about how many eyeballs watch an event like the Oscar’s. Now imagine the amount of attention a green clothing initiative would receive if say a George Clooney wore a hemp fused Armani tuxedo or a Jennifer Lawrence wore a Donna Karen dress made from recyclable materials. The amount of good press for a celebrity who endorses such a movement and for the designer, who took time out to make a sustainable and fashionable garment for a celebrity to wear, would only be equaled by the amount of exposure for the green clothing movement. Celebrities are already involved with green charities. Yet, their statuses as global icons will only help to push a movement like sustainable clothing quickly into mainstream if they choose to endorse it. What a personal and humanitarian statement that would make if a celebrity showed up to an event that is broadcast worldwide in elegant clothing made from green materials. Let’s push our celebrities to wear sustainable clothing and to promote the movement’s ideals to a worldwide audience. In that way the world can see the possibilities of sustainable clothing and can further help to promote a world in which we live green, and be green.


[1] http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2012/02/24/how-much-do-oscar-invitees-really-pay-for-their-red-carpet-looks/

[2] http://www.thedailyactivist.com/celebrity-charities-dicaprios-newest-eco-partners/

[3] http://www.thedailyactivist.com/genocide-in-the-making/

“We are like tenant farmers chopping down the fence around our house for fuel when we should be using Nature’s inexhaustible sources of energy — sun, wind and tide. … I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that.[1]Thomas Edison

In that 1931 conversation with Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone, Edison prophetically described the potential of solar energy to be used to supply society’s energy requirements. And with the help of government subsidies and a greater emphasis on the importance of sustainability by the Obama administration, the solar industry is off to a fast start in 2013 as ETF’s Guggenheim Solar and Market Vectors Solar Energy are up 20% this year.[2]

There are many attractive features of solar energy, led primarily by the almost infinite amount of raw energy provided by that thing called the sun. In addition, solar panels are becoming cheaper to manufacture and last around two decades, which creates a tremendous amount of value over the life of the product (not to mention the tax advantages of owning a solar paneled system). Lastly, solar energy panels provide a clean source of energy to power your entire home without the expense to the environment – at least so we thought.

According to a recent yahoo article, the solar industry may have a dirtier side after first glance. Because of government subsidies, solar panel manufactures are incentivized to produce as many units as possible. However, one of the major downsides to this is amount of sludge and contaminated water from the manufacturing process.[3] And because a majority of these companies are startups with huge overhead costs and are heavily invested in research and development, firms are unable to build storage facilities for this waste, which forces them to ship the contaminants across state lines to waste facilities hundreds and sometimes thousands of miles away.[4]  Lastly and most shockingly is the fact that the transport of the waste is not calculated into the products’ carbon footprint, which is the quantitative figure assessing the product’s ecological impact across the timespan of its inception to its destruction. It is a bit hypocritical for companies, which have a green initiative as an alternative energy source, to be so nonchalant about a green calculation with such great significance.

What is also striking is the industry-wide lack of transparency regarding the carbon footprint of the solar companies. “The Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition, a watchdog group created in 1982 in response to severe environmental problems associated with the valley’s electronics industry, is now trying to keep the solar industry from making similar mistakes through a voluntary waste reporting “scorecard.” So far, only 14 of 114 companies contacted have replied.[5]

That being said, as an alternative energy source, solar energy is still the cleanest and most reliable. Compared to coal and natural gas derived energy, solar produces ten times less pollutants, and as mentioned previously, with a twenty year life expectancy for panels, provides a great source of energy for a significant length of time. The oversight of not including transportation costs may be a harmless and overlooked nuance that has not jeopardized lives. Yet, as a writer for an information sharing blog, the lack of transparency leaves a bad taste in my mouth and changes need to be made to provide consumers with the most up-to-date information. The solar industry as a result of this report cannot hide behind the veil of purity in doing green work, while simultaneously producing inefficient carbon footprint “scorecards”.  Only when the industry makes amends to change its behavior in reporting information can we as consumers feel confident in living green, and being green.


[1] http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Thomas_Edison

[2] http://finance.yahoo.com/news/solar-industry-impressing-investors-gains-132000140.html;_ylt=A2KJ2UiI.h9RZ0gAlDbQtDMD

[3] “In many cases, a toxic sludge is created when metals and other toxins are removed from water used in the manufacturing process. If a company doesn’t have its own treatment equipment, then it will send contaminated water to be stored at an approved dump.”

[4] http://news.yahoo.com/solar-industry-grapples-hazardous-wastes-184756813.html;_ylt=A2KJ2UZE9h9RPGoAWB3QtDMD

[5] See id no. 4

Oroeco is running a campaign to “realign the economy for GOOD!”  This group has developed an app that tracts the sustainability of individual spending and investment choices.  With the app, an individual can “link his or her spending and investment transactions to scientific data that calculates the impact of each choice.  In addition to improving the environment, participants can compete against friends and earn “oro” points, which can be cashed in for both virtual and real world prizes.  This program clearly allows people to make better environmental choices and encourages businesses to produce more sustainable products or lose money.

Oroeco recently launched a campaign on the crowd funding platform, Indieggo, as a means of acquiring additional fucning to complete the app.  The campaign specifics are presented in the exceptional Indieggo style– very clear and concise with top tabs and sidebars that thoroughly detail all the aspects of the application, including galleries, updates, comments and funders.  There also is a bar graph that accurately notes the funding received to date, as well as a clock that displays the time remaining in the campaign.

The Oroeco app that they are working to launch, more specifically,  provides useful tools to aid users in their education on the personal impacts of their spending and investment choices.  The Oro 1.0 app, as it is called, tracks spending transactions and provides a visual of the climate change impact of each transaction a person makes.  It allows users to set goals, and it gives reminders to fulfill them.  Users can customize the appearance of their Oroeco profiles, and they can compare and compete against friends to earn rewards for better investments.  There also is a sidebar which delineates perks for the different levels of contributions, the expected dates of delivery, and the number of perks available, as well as the total already claimed.

Oroeco is extremely passionate about climate change and has truly developed a unique program to involve each of us in the movement to live green.  Unlike most current “green” applications, Oroeco uses scientific data to provide a clear picture of the impact of our personal choices on the environment.  Oroeco is backed by a solid team of scientists and engineers to accomplish this goal.  Ultimately, in order to be successful, the company needs funds to pay for a user interface designer to make its platform totally functional.

The idea here is a great one worthy of consideration and support.  Please go to http://www.indiegogo.com/oroeco to learn about this exciting project.  LGBG encourages support for Oroeco financially so that we all can benefit from its work to help people and live green, be green.

Crowd funding powers green movement

          Crowd funding powers green movement

Exxon,by virtue of its operational sector, is usually a lightning rod for controversy. Whether it is due to the fact that its products contribute to global warming, or because everyone who works for the company is perceived to be like the individual in the cartoon below.

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Only $4.09 a gallon?

The result is that the company seemingly is always under attack. Perennially however, Exxon seems to do one thing right: forecasting energy trends. And by all accounts, the company sees North America as becoming a net energy exporter by 2025.

Exxon’s glowing predictions for the continent stem from North America becoming less reliant on coal-based power plants, and instead, depending more on energy efficient natural-gas-fired plants. Overall, the oil giant sees coal use dropping 33% from 2010 to 2025, a substantially larger increase than its previous 23% estimate.

In addition, because North America, and particularly the United States, contains an abundance of natural gas reserves, and is working to perfect the hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling techniques needed to unlock them, the continent has become energy rich in the clean burning fuel of the future. As a result, North America will become the go-to source to feed the growing energy demands of industrialized nations. In fact, Exxon’s report states that, “Global energy demand will increase 35% from 2010 to 2040, with most of the increased demand coming from developing nations like India and China.” By setting the initiative of becoming a global superpower in clean energy technologies, North America has positioned itself well to become less reliant on foreign oil, while at the same positioning itself as a provider of clean energy for other nations.

Remarkably enough, “By 2040 developed nations like the US and Canada are expected to generate 80% more economic output than in 2010 but use the same amount of energy.” This speaks to North America’s attempt to be on the cutting edge of this breakthrough technology and to the unmistakable way in which innovation can change a nation from a net importer to net exporter. (I’m looking at you United States) As clean energy becomes more and more of a priority with each passing day, it is refreshing to see how the green movement has changed political decision making. Let’s continue to make sustainability a priority both at home and abroad so that we can all live green, and be green.

Source: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324339204578171583862191830.html?KEYWORDS=energy+exports

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Here at LGBG, we work diligently to provide our readers with an easy and enjoyable reading experience, while keeping in line with our blog’s end goals of educating and informing. However, it is important to note that we are not the only ones on the web dedicated to all things green. With this in mind, we have decided each month to highlight a particular blog which peaks our interest in the way that it addresses green issues uniquely and daringly.

This feature is on a blog called Joyfully Green, appropriately titled after its creator, Mrs. Joy Sussman. Inspired by her two young children (ages 5 and 8) Mrs. Sussman states that, “Special attention is given to parents and teachers who are looking to nurture ‘the littlest environmentalists’ – tomorrow’s leaders on the green frontier.” With that mindset, Joyfully Green focuses on doing, rather than simply preaching, about how to be green, and shows ways in which we can accomplish this goal. She reverts to her actual experiences with her children as a way to give real examples of change rather than just proselytizing about it. With entries titled “Time Out: How to Get Outdoors with Kids as the Weather Gets Colder” and “Unplugging from Technology to Reconnect with Your Child”, she stays true to her roots and her concentration of educating with children in mind.

Joyfully Green is written with a down-to-earth sense of practicality, stressing simple changes to implement to make yourself more green. As Mrs. Sussman has quoted on her site, through an inspirational book called Living Like Ed: A Guide to the Eco-Friendly Life, by Ed Begley Jr., “You don’t climb Mount Everest in a single day.” Her blog’s focus, a commendable and wise one at that, is to make green changes a daily idea, so that the amalgamated effects of those changes can be seen farther down the road.  By positively influencing the behavior of families to act in green ways, she is helping to build a future of green conscious citizens.

Lastly, Joyfully Green’s dedicated section of green-approved books and literature stands out, and it is frequently referenced throughout the blog’s posts. A different book seems to be reviewed every day, and the wealth of knowledge, particularly regarding the book’s effect on children and families, is unlike anything we’ve ever seen. In addition, within the book reviews is a section reserved for children’s books, which further emphasizes the motifs of family and creating “little environmentalists” – two consistent themes throughout the blog.

With that said, please check out Joyfully Green and all that the site has to offer for both you and your family. It is truly an inspiring blog written from a unique, but relatable perspective. Also, if you have any suggestions for a blog site worthy of being the focus of next month’s Clean NRG Blog of the Month, please email your idea to travis@livegreenbegreen.com.

www.joyfullygreen.com